Max Maslansky

Region: Pacific Coast

My paintings are borne out of the relatively halcyon era of pornography, from the 1970s to early 1980s, when it was formally akin to classic cinema. Starting from images I glean from the Internet, I alter their appearances through the painting process on bed sheets over a conventional stretcher—often to the size of actual beds. The sheets are found in thrift stores. Having already a “psychic history” from the nameless and faceless people who slept on them, the sheets add an extra charge to the otherwise staccato task of painting on their unprimed surfaces, which is not unlike watercoloring on tissue paper.

In pornography, you can behold a body or scene as a whole, while intimate real-life relations involve seeing your partner only in parts. I play on this contradiction by segmenting the figures, flattening them, and making them see-through, not unlike Picabia’s “transparencies.”

My paintings prey on ideas of intimacy, and make light of what pornography leaves out of the picture. Through my painting process, pornography betrays its own sublimations.